The first City Council vote on the project took place on September 16, 2009, prior to the issuance of any reports studying alternatives. Before voting in favor of the project, Councilors Eager, Teator, and Greene voiced concerns that the project relied on very large hydroelectric subsidies and revenues and stated that if, after due diligence, such assumptions were incorrect they wanted to revisit the GW only option. Eager stated:
“the lynchpin to this entire decision is the hydro project because if we have the hydro project it makes a heckuva lot of sense to keep taking water out of bridge creek … and generate a lot of revenue in the out years that will keep rates down because we’re a desireable place to come … if hydro doesn’t work out then wells make more sense because we don’t have to spend 25 million on a surface water treatment facility we don’t have to upgrade our pipe at that point. I just want to make sure we’re not making a decision now by buying this steel that gives us a pipeline to nowhere if hydro doesn’t work out.”
The City now concedes that the hydroelectric subsidies and revenue they were counting on in September 2009 have not materialized. The City is also claiming it is mothballing the hydro project. Based on Eager’s statements back in 2009, “wells make more sense because we don’t have to spend 25 million on a surface water treatment facility [and] we don’t have to upgrade our pipe at that point.” By his own account, he is pushing to build a “pipeline to nowhere” on the ratepayers’ backs.